National Geographic : 1954 Feb
Unable to Rip the Rabbit, a Month-old Chick Waits for Parents to Feed Her Golden eagles prey on the small game most plentiful in their neighborhoods. They take no salads with their meals. This lone survivor of a pair spreads wings in the instinctive gesture used to fend her smaller brother away from food. Developing quills sprout darkly from her down. quarters, for it is futile to put up a blind by an eagle's nest and simply get inside. The watcher must be accompanied to the blind by a friend, who, once all is ready, will walk away. The birds, seeing him go, feel it is safe to return to their nest. Likewise, the watcher must not leave the blind until the eagles have first seen his friend return to it. Again the birds will fly off, but will come back when they see the original observer walking away. The next day I climbed up to the eyrie and had my second session in the blind. This was a red-letter occasion, for I was able to picture cock and hen at the nest together with both still and movie cameras. Later the hen left, but she returned after an hour and three quarters and fed the youngster on grouse. She then departed again, but soon reap peared with a spray of dark-green leaves and placed them on the nest. Many birds of prey have this habit of adding fresh greenery to their nests right through the breeding season. It may assist in keeping the eyrie fresh and clean, though all eagles' nests acquire a pretty strong odor before the youngsters are many weeks old. The birds themselves have no sense of smell. Later on, through the rear peephole, I watched the eagle land on a rowan tree and start tugging at a branch with her beak. She twisted it this way and that until finally it came free. Immediately she launched herself into space. Seeing her coming, I got ready with the movie camera and shot her in slow motion as she arrived.